Elk Mountain Ranch is a dude ranch in the heart of the Rockies, just two hour’s drive from either Denver or Colorado Springs in Colorado.

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There are just eight suites, cabins and lodges in total, all of which are perfect for families with either two or three bedrooms. The décor throughout is simple - wood panelled walls and occasional ranch related artworks - but the cabins are all very comfortable.

Food is a big part of the Elk Mountain experience, with steak nights, candlelit suppers and trail ride cookouts (that's cowboy for barbeques) organised throughout your stay, and there are also children's menus (warning - cookies may feature) for the youngsters.

All these hearty meals serve a purpose, namely to provide enough energy for guests to really make the most of the riding, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, hiking in the surrounding San Isabel National Forest, shooting, archery, fly fishing, programmes designed for children and evening entertainment including square dancing. Elk Mountain Ranch offers seven night packages, running Sunday to Sunday, which include accommodation and meals and all of the activities above.

Why we love it

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The ranch lays the activities on thick and fast, but the secret sauce here is the incredible scenery. White Stallion Ranch sits at an elevation of 9,600ft with wonderful views across the Arkansas Valley to the Collegiate Mountains. The San Isabel National Forest in which the ranch sits is home to deer, antelope, wildflowers and, of course, elk.

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Will, Kate B and Alexandra are our The American West experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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